SNOWSHOE – Vacation homes and condos at Snowshoe Mountain resort in Pocahontas County are poised to get high-speed Internet service thanks to a $713,000 state grant.
The West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council awarded the funding last week even though an independent consultant advising the council urged it not to fund the project.
Council members who voted against the project said the state shouldn’t be subsidizing a wealthy resort community. They also cited plans by Frontier Communications to bring broadband service to the area.
“Not everyone in our population can go ski and own a home at Snowshoe,” council member Elaine Harris, who lobbies for the Communications Workers of America, said, according to The Charleston Gazette. “I’m very concerned as a council member about the message we’re sending to communities that have no [broadband].”
Supporters of the project said there’s no guarantee Frontier will expand high-speed Internet service at the resort.
Puppies seized: The owners from WV Puppies are expected to appear in court Thursday after the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department and animal control agents seized 25 puppies from the business last week.
The move followed neighbors’ complaints of inhumane conditions.
Officials also heard allegations that the animals had been improperly transported across state lines.
More Mountain State mediation: A second round of mediation is scheduled for next week following Mountain State University’s loss of accreditation and ultimate closure.
Mediation is set for March 26 to 28.
The mediation stems from lawsuits filed by former Mountain State students in the Eastern Panhandle and elsewhere after the school’s nursing program was stripped of its accreditation. The university later lost school-wide accreditation and closed. The University of Charleston took over the school.
Hundreds of cases were transferred to West Virginia’s mass litigation panel. The first round of mediation was last August.
Lawsuits still are joining the mass litigation panel. Among the claims: fraud and breach of contract.
Students hailed: Two Eastern Panhandle teens were among 88 high school juniors from across West Virginia recently honored by federal prosecutors.
Jacob Orlando, who attends Martinsburg High, and Tyler Brewster, a student at Musselman High, were recognized by U.S. Attorneys Booth Goodwin and Bill Ihlenfeld at a ceremony in Charleston.
The U.S. Attorney’s Ambassador for Justice program honors high school juniors who have shown outstanding leadership skills and a commitment to social justice.
Goodwin created the program two years ago in response to rising school bullying and social media threats involving young people.
Nominations come from school principals and administrative leaders. This year, 87 high schools in 46 counties nominated winning students.
Pa. driver charged in deaths: A 28-year-old Pennsylvania woman has been charged in an October accident that killed a man and his infant daughter.
State Police in Elkins arrested Janel Sturm of Baden, Pa., on two counts of driving under the influence causing death and one count of child neglect resulting in death.
Police say Sturm is accused of having methamphetamine and other controlled substances in her system at the time of the Oct. 28 accident on U.S. 250 in Barbour County. Travis Felton, 29, of Belington, was killed, along with 7-week-old Raele Felton.
Sturm was arraigned in Randolph County Magistrate Court and was being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $150,000 bond.
Mayor unhappy with spill aftermath: A Putnam County leader is concerned about wastewater from the site of a January chemical spill being dumped into a landfill in his city.
Hurricane Mayor Scott Edwards says he wasn’t told about plans to dump the material at the Disposal Services landfill. The water contains traces of the crude MCHM that spilled Jan. 9.
State Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Tom Aluise says Freedom Industries has moved about 36,000 gallons of wastewater, combined with sawdust, to a Hurricane landfill since March 7.
Edwards said there’s no risk of the material entering the city’s water system, though the wastewater gets treated and pumped into the Hurricane Creek. Aluise said the plant should be able to treat any chemical remnants. Edwards disagrees.
Oxygen machine theft: South Charleston police say three men swiped an oxygen machine from a man just released from a hospital.
The theft occurred shortly after 1 a.m. Friday.